Tag Archives | Amazon

Evidence of Ancient Civilization Found in the Amazon

Amazon River drainage basin with the Rio Negro highlighted. Source: Kmusser (CC)

Amazon River drainage basin with the Rio Negro highlighted. Source: Kmusser (CC)

Tom Phillips reports that a drought in Brazil has provided evidence of an ancient civilisation in the form of engravings up to 7,000 years old, in the Guardian:

A series of ancient underwater etchings has been uncovered near the jungle city of Manaus, following a drought in the Brazilian Amazon.

The previously submerged images – engraved on rocks and possibly up to 7,000 years old – were reportedly discovered by a fisherman after the Rio Negro, a tributary of the Amazon river, fell to its lowest level in more than 100 years last month.

Tens of thousands of forest dwellers were left stranded after rivers in the region faded into desert-like sandbanks.

Though water levels are now rising again, partly covering the apparently stone age etchings, local researchers photographed them before they began to disappear under the river’s dark waters.

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The Loneliest Man In The World

100820_DIS_Brazil_EXThis past month Slate wrote about the “most isolated man on the planet,” the sole remaining member of an Amazonian tribe, living a solitary existence in the jungle. Obviously, dozens of people may be choosing to live in remote locations by themselves — the difference is that this man’s isolation is not a conscious decision. Rather than seeking contact, Brazilian authorities are managing the surrounding area so as to prevent outside influence from disrupting his way of life — the whole scenario is slightly Truman Show-esque.

The most isolated man on the planet will spend tonight inside a leafy palm-thatch hut in the Brazilian Amazon. As always, insects will darn the air. Spider monkeys will patrol the treetops. Wild pigs will root in the undergrowth. And the man will remain a quietly anonymous fixture of the landscape, camouflaged to the point of near invisibility.

That description relies on a few unknowable assumptions, obviously, but they’re relatively safe.

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Will Amazon Push Ads into eBooks?

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

A book editor at Houghton Mifflin argues ebook advertising is “coming soon to a book near you.” Report in the Wall Street Journal:

Amazon has filed a patent for advertisements on the Kindle, and the book editor joins with a business professor in today’s Wall Street Journal to make the case for advertisements in ebooks. Book sales haven’t increased over the last decade, and profits are being squeezed even lower by ebooks. According to another industry analyst, Amazon is being pressured to make ebook sales more profitable for publishers, party because Apple offers them more lucrative terms in Apple’s iBookstore. One technology site notes that Amazon’s preference seems to be keeping book prices low, and wonders whether consumers would accept advertising if it meant that new ebooks were then free?

Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren has confused the issue even more by publishing a “shoppable” children’s storybook online – narrated by Harry Connick, Jr.

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Uranium Is Getting Some Glowing Reviews On Amazon

By MG Siegler at TechCrunch:
Did you know you can buy uranium ore on Amazon? Well you can. It’s actually been on sale for a while — BoingBoing pointed it out back in 2007. But talk of it has recently started popping up around the Internet once again this past week. Our sister site CrunchGear did a quick post pointing it out last week. Since then, a whole new batch of great customer reviews have been flowing in, as Amazon CTO Werner Vogels points out today. Some of the negative reviews note that uranium is “bad for you.” ...
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From ‘Avatar’ To The Amazon: James Cameron To The Rescue

Alexei Barrionuevo writes for the New York Times:

VOLTA GRANDE DO XINGU, Brazil — They came from the far reaches of the Amazon, traveling in small boats and canoes for up to three days to discuss their fate. James Cameron, the Hollywood titan, stood before them with orange warrior streaks painted on his face, comparing the threats on their lands to a snake eating its prey.

“The snake kills by squeezing very slowly,” Mr. Cameron said to more than 70 indigenous people, some holding spears and bows and arrows, under a tree here along the Xingu River. “This is how the civilized world slowly, slowly pushes into the forest and takes away the world that used to be,” he added.

As if to underscore the point, seconds later a poisonous green snake fell out of a tree, just feet from where Mr. Cameron’s wife sat on a log. Screams rang out.

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